It is an age-old challenge to manage an organization as well as lead it. Great leaders are distinctively more capable in the way they manage their organization by planning, budgeting, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling while leading it by values, spirit, inspiration and energy. There are several examples where organizations are over-managed and under-led; similarly, we have under-managed and over-led organizations. In the either case, we notice challenges of efficiency, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, hence, sustainability. The bottomline is clear that a great leader or someone aspiring to be a great leader needs to balance between managing and leading.
Managing is critical for immediate results and works very well when the environment is not hyper-dynamic. Traditionally, management education has focused on quantitaive tools and analytical thinking to be able to design a strategy, break them down to plans and execute a set of actions. Due to such overhang, we see managers naturally getting into the shoes of managing challenges, solving problems and working towards desired outcomes. What we miss is the orientation to lead teams by inspiring them, motivating them and aligning them. When the organization gets aligned fully, several parts work in unison and resonance giving the maximum results. Theoritically, it is easy to understand however, possibly the most difficult task for the human civilization. What’s the recipe?
Firstly, it’s the credibility of the leader in the eyes of the stakeholders. Credibility gives rise to trust and hence, the heart pledges its support to the cause being championed by the leader. Credibility is built over time; a result of one’s achievements and behaviours. And one feeds the other leading to a virtuous circle of credibility. Humility, vision and focus are possibly the most important behaviours that builds credibility of a leader.
Secondly, credibility is built by consistent communication that influences the perception of the stakeholders. It has been proven time and again that effective communication can build a strong perception around the achievements and hence, the credibility. With the hyperactive media and the superfast communication channels, it is more challenging than ever before to grab the attention of the audience and make an impact. Hence, building credibility is quite a challenge.
Last, but not the least, credibility is often a result of the environment in which the leader operates. At times, what others do not do or fail to do makes a leader stand in good stead. And similarly, if everyone around is equally credible, it is quite a challenge to stand out. This could be a factor of coincidence or the turn of events which makes one credible than others.
To be a great leader, one needs to be not only a execution hero but also a credible hero. Hence, Credibility Quotient (CQ) is so critical. CQ can be built by the right behaviours, impactful communication and the right environment that allows the leader to shine. Go for it!